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Infra-red "hot spot" the latest commentary toy

Published: Thursday, November 23, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
 
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Brisbane:An infra-red camera reportedly designed to track fighter jets has become the latest hi-tech gadget used to cover the Ashes series between Australia and England.

Host broadcaster Channel Nine said the device, known as the "hot spot", could show whether a batman was out or not with 100 percent accuracy.

"It is a scientifically proven piece of technology that will end all speculation surrounding a dismissal," Nine's head of sport Steve Crawley said.

"If the ball has connected with a player's bat, pad, glove or the ground, it will be revealed by the hot spot."

The device records play using two infra-red cameras that show the miniscule amount of heat generated from the friction when two objects collide.

It then uses computer technology to generate a negative image showing the precise point of contact between the two objects, providing what Nine describes as definitive proof of the ball's passage.

It said the technology could determine whether the ball has snicked the bat for a dismissal or whether a player should be adjudged leg before wicket (lbw) for padding the ball away in the strike zone.

Nine said it had been trialling the technology for 12 months but only collected the equipment from Paris on Saturday for use in the Ashes series that began Thursday.

Nine refused to disclose the cost of its latest toy, which joins "stumpcam", speed cameras, slow-motion replays, the "snickometer" and "hawkeye" in the armoury of technology available to TV commentators.

Crawley said the hot spot was commonly used by the military to track jet fighters and tanks.

However, he refused to name the French company that manufactures the equipment or its cost.

AFP

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